After some uncertainty about his status for the May 19 Preakness Stakes, Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip will be in the field, WinStar Farm president and CEO Elliott Walden said.
Trainer Rodolphe Brisset opted not to enter Quip in the Kentucky Derby, despite the fact that the colt qualified, because he believed his horse would be better off running fresh in the Preakness. But then Justify, also co-owned by WinStar Farm, won the Derby. Would the same owner want a rested horse competing with its own Triple Crown contender?
“He deserves the opportunity,” Walden said of Quip’s entry in the Preakness. “We purposely skipped the Derby pointing for the Preakness. We looked at it at that time and asked the question, if we did win the Derby, would we still run Quip in the Preakness? We all kind of answered, ‘Yes.’ But I wanted to take a fresh look at it after the race and make sure.”
Walden said Sunday that if Justify is a great horse, as many observers believe, he’ll beat Quip and make his case for the Triple Crown.
“Justify is going to be the prohibitive favorite,” the WinStar president said Tuesday. “If you’re looking at it with a Quip hat on, you would think he would be a very difficult horse to beat but that you’re as live as anybody else.”
Meanwhile, Justify walked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and continued to recover from the skin irritation on his left hind leg that trainer Bob Baffert compared to a diaper rash. He’ll likely walk again Wednesday before returning to the track for training Thursday.